Thirty years ago this week, their desperate search began – but in the years since, the search for Tania Murrell has continued to evade investigators.

“It haunts you whether it’s fresh or cold, it is frustrating we can’t solve it,” EPS Detective Howie Antoniuk said.

It’s a missing person’s case that’s consumed the Edmonton Police Service – ever since 6-year-old Tania Murrell did not make it home from Grovenor School on January 20, 1983.

The little girl had gone to school with her brother, and was supposed to go home with him for lunch that day, but it’s believed that she headed in the opposite direction instead towards what was a convenience store at that time.

In the last thirty years, investigators have waded through thousands of documents and tips – but have come up empty-handed.

“No clothing, no body, nothing like that – nothing, that is the most puzzling part of this,” Antoniuk said.

“She just vanished off the face of the earth.”

The little girl’s disappearance sparked the creation of the first Alberta chapter of Child Find, the organization said the case continues to serve as a reminder to parents, to empower their children with knowledge of what to do in the face of danger, and how to avoid it.

An agency spokesperson said these days, the threat has spread online – so parents should talk to their children about potential cyber dangers.

“There’s been a shift in the way that children are being harmed, from a physical manner of kind of being plucked off a street if you will, to in front of a computer,” Brad Bostock with Child Find Alberta said.

That’s good advice for detectives, who are still hoping to help the family find closure.

“I’m sure somebody out there knows something,” Antoniuk said. “Someone said something to somebody, but I need somebody to come forward.”

With files from Serena Mah